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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Entries in Palmer (3)


What We're Drinking

The K&L staff had fun this weekend. Here's a sampling of what they drank. How about you?

Mulan Chan-Randel, K&L Rhône and French Regional wine buyer: At my friend's house for an outdoor dinner: Grilled salmon in grape leaves, entrecote of beef, assorted grilled vegetables, artisanal cheeses, macaroons and flourless chocolate cake. We paired all that with: 2001 J.J. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Spätlese, 1992 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, 1981 Palmer and 1962 Palmer. I have very nice friends.

Anne Pickett, Redwood City: I had a glass of the 2008 Julian Chivite Gran Feudo Rosado from Navarra with three kinds of tapas: Garbanzos con Chorizo, papas bravas and pan con tomate. A la Furia Roja!!! Salud!!


David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits buyer: I had the 1998 Montfaucon Côte de Rhône - It was ridiculous!!! I also had the Kern River Brewing Company's "Just Outstanding" IPA.  It's so good that no one will be able to find any...

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What We're Drinking

It was a busy drinking weekend for the staff at K&L. Here's just a smattering of what we imbibed and where.

Keith Wollenberg, K&L's Burgundy buyer just wound up a trip to Chablis on Saturday, and it sounds like the visit ended on a high note:

Saturday, June 19th at Hostellerie des Clos, Chablis

1996 Domaine René & Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons" Initially very square on the palate, it opend up to show classic wet stone and oyster shell notes with crisp acidity and just a touch of honey. Still very youthful, and a terrific match with shellfish and then some seared white fish and baby spring vegetables.

2000 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru "Clos des Chenes" Lovely and very "Pinot" in character, with a bit of minerality and very fine tannins. Open and lovely with Charolais beef rib steak in a Pinot Noir reduction. Terrific Volnay, perfumed aromatic and long on the palate.

Sunday, June 20th at home on the patio in California

2007 Domaine Ramonet Bourgogne Aligoté ($23.99) This wine's lovely acidity is counterbalanced by a bit of Cote d'Or richness and a hint of oak. A refreshing and rich white Burgundy that I drank to accompany a big tossed green salad with scampi grilled with pepper and lemon, while sitting in the sun trying to figure out what time of day it really was after 17 hours in transit by car and plane.


Trey Beffa, K&L's VP and domestic wine buyer in Los Angeles, had a fun-filled weekend starting with a closing bash at Grace in Los Angeles on Saturday night. (The restaurant will reopen next year downtown). He started with the 1996 Arnauld Ente 1er Cru Volnay "Les Santenots de Milieu" "The wine was okay, with ripe upfront fruit. Earthy in the back, but a bit simple. I've been opening a few '96 Burgundies lately and have not been happy. I might get rid of them all. I wish I bought more '99s.

1995 Clerico "Arte" "This wine was delicious, with sweet black fruit and a spicy, long finish. The Arte is a blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera that's barrel aged. All in all, Italy beat France on Friday.

On Sunday, it was Stella Artois and Don Julio Silver Tequila at the House of Blues with Ozzy Osbourne. It was pretty cool seeing him perform in a 1,000-person venue. More Advil needed this morning than on Sunday morning."


I had a pretty mellow weekend overall, heading to down to visit some friends in Orange County on Friday night with my hubby. I brought along a bottle of the 2008 Domaine Anne & Arnaud Goisot Bourgogne Côte d'Auxerre Rosé ($11.99), which matched nicely with the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus apetizers my friend served, as well as the sumptuous salmon with dried cranberries and pistachios. I could have drank this all night. 

For Father's Day we opened the bottle of 1991 Palmer, Margaux ($189.99) that we gave my dad for his birthday last week. We served it with grilled lamb chops dusted with herbs d'Provence, asparagus and baby red, purple and sweet potatoes. The wine was phenomenal, darkening in color with air. It started off with a a meaty, curranty nose, which gave way to plummy fruit, blackberries, smoke and graphite. The tannins were totally resolved and the wine was just seamless! Oh, and my dad liked it too.


David Othenin-Girard, L.A.'s spirits buyer, drank one of my favorite beers over the weekend, the Jolly Pumpkin "Bam Biere" Farmhouse Ale (750ml $9.99). David says, "This brew from the boys in Michigan tasted like tangerine soda. The sour element goes really citrusy, it's very easy to drink but full flavored. This is definitely for the adventurous. Loved it."


Keith Mabry, Assistant Manager at K&L Hollywood: 

Friday night was Oyster night.  A friend picked up oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.  Local oysters from down near San Diego that are bright and plump with a slight grassy note.  After shucking them, he prepared them two ways.  We had raw oysters with a light squeeze of lemon and a slight dusting of fresh cracked pepper.  Then Oysters Rockefeller.  A sliver of fried bacon in the bottom of the shell, the oyster on top of that, a drizzle of hollandaise and fresh buttermilk bread crumbs then under the broiler for 3 minutes.  Pure heaven. I opened two wines that night.  First we drank the 2008 Domaine Gerard Tremblay Chablis "Vieilles Vignes" ($18.99), which was showing beautifully.  It had pear fruit and wonderful mineral notes.  This is the third time I have had this wine and I want to keep going back for more.  The second wine was the 2003 Brokenwood "ILR" Semillon from Hunter Valley ($37.99).  If you have never had aged Semillon from Hunter, you must try it.  It has a vibrant lemongrass quality and as they age they pick up richer nuances. This wine was still youthful and needed about 20 minutes to start showing its best stuff.  This is what the Aussies drink with their oysters and we should too.

I was at another friend’s house on Sunday for a HUGE start of summer rosé party.  We had about 25 different rosés, including bubbles.  Standouts include: 

2009 Adegas Cooperativos de Moncao "Muralhas" Rosé Vinho Verde ($11.99) Slightly bubbly, sweet fruit, like fresh cut cantaloupe with a soft breeze of raspberry.  Hot weather here we come! 

2009 Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé ($29.99) One of the stars of summer.  A richly flavored wine of great complexity.  Still deftly balanced and not cloying.  Can’t wait to see how this develops over the year.

2008 Chateau Simone Palette Rosé  Dense texture and vibrant notes of anise, cinnamon, cherries and wet stones.  Longest finish and highest price.  A stunner in my book.

Bruno Michel "Les Rose" Brut Rosé Champagne ($49.99) Like drinking a Gevrey-Chambertin with bubbles.  Not your average Champagne, but fascinating.

Food was provided by the World Fare bustaurant.  Curried chicken and the braised short ribs were stars, but no one will ever forget the truffled macaroni and cheese balls.  Be on the lookout for one of the best food trucks I have yet visited in LA.

Hollywood's Chris Miller was also at the rosé party. Here's what he remembered: 

Went to a rosé party last night where there were dozens of still and sparkling rosés to try.  Despite my best efforts, probably only got to about 15 or so (remember, this is a party, not a "tasting." Spitting be damned!)  Two standouts were the very lovely Domaine de la Petite Marie Bourgueil Rosé ($15.99), which was spicy, balanced and super delicious.  And our own Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé (32.99).  Super fruity, but lots of lip-smacking, refreshing acidity.  Both wines are steals at $14 and $33 respectively.  Then a shot of Averna, as there was no Fernet.  You know you're in L.A. and not SF when THAT'S the case.


Leah Greenstein


Trey's Blog: Day Five in Bordeaux

Tuesday, March 30th

Jeff Garneau, Alex Pross and Ralph Sands in front of Chateau Margaux

10 a.m. – Château Margaux

I have never seen as many people at Château Margaux as were there today. The wines were pretty amazing. The Pavillon Rouge was good. It showed lots of minerals, spicy red fruits, firm tannins and a tight middle. The Châteaux Margaux was one of the best wines we have tasted so far. It was dense and powerful, but had a silky texture. The tannins were big but ripe and integrated. The blend is 87% Cab, 9% Merlot, 2% Cab Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. This will be a candidate for wine of the vintage!

The Pavillon Blanc was one of the best Pavillon Blancs I have tasted in years, and 2009 marks a significant change in the style of this wine. The alcohol in 2008 was over 15%. The alcohol on the 2009 is closer to 13%. The 2009 was tight, focused and showed a great citric note, sweet cream and melons in the mouth. It was very fresh and lively, something that past vintages have been missing.


The K&L team with Philippene Rothschild at Mouton-Rothschild

11 a.m. – Château Mouton-Rothschild

Like Margaux, this was one of the most crowed tastings I have ever been to at Mouton. Keep your eye on the 2009 Clerc Milon! It showed a great nose: plummy, currant fruit, black licorice and ripe, spicy tannins. This will be a wine to buy if the price is reasonable. The 2009 Mouton-Rothschild, for me, was difficult to taste. It was a bit shut down in the middle when we tried it. It showed loads of that classic lead pencil, cedar, black licorice and red currant flavors, but the middle and finish of the wine seemed to be separated a tad. This will be a great wine, but I think a notch below Latour, Lafite and Margaux.

Noon – Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

For value wine in 2009, add the 2009 Lalande-Borie to your must-buy list. It showed loads of bittersweet chocolate, cream, spicy red fruits and a long, clean, fresh finish. This wine should be priced fairly, too. The 2009 Ducru was amazing! Inky and juicy in the middle, it had a ton of structure, acidity and ripe tannin to carry the wine through to the lush finish. It almost could be enjoyed now it was so ripe and balanced. I would add this to the possible top five wines of the vintage.


Bruno Borie of Ducru-Beaucaillou fixing lunchLight lunch at Ducru with Bruno Borie

1999 Bollinger Grande Annee was followed by a tasting of the 2006-2008 of Lalande Borie, Croix de Beaucaillou and Ducru, all served with a delicious lunch. All 3 Ducru’s were great with the 2007 showing the best right now. As an added bonus we had the 1995 Ducru at the end of the meal. This was the Wine Spectators wine of the year. It was showing some bottle age and seems to be developing nicely. Spicy, fresh and bright, I would not hesitate to open a bottle of this now –but no rush.

3 p.m. – Château Palmer

We only tasted two wines at Palmer and both were amazing! Their second wine, the 2009 Alter Ego was probably the best second wine we tasted so far. It showed exotic spicy fruit, juicy black licorice and silky ripe tannins that lingered on the finish. The blend is 51% Merlot and 49% Cabernet. This is a wine to buy, for sure.

The Château Palmer was up there quality-wise with the Ducru. Amazing wine—dark plummy fruit, big rich middle, tons of power, but the finesse shines through. The tannins were so ripe and silky they almost melted in your mouth. Great wine!

4 p.m. – Léoville-Barton

Much more rustic in style, both the Langoa and Leoville were big, dense wines with tons of structure and acidity. Their tannins were not quite as plush and other wines we tasted today. These will be wines for the cellar.

4:30 p.m. – UGC Tasting / St-Estèphe, St-Julien, Pauillac

Some of the best wines of the vintage appear to come from these regions. We re-tasted several that we had already tasted and they showed excellent again. Some new wines we found to be outstanding include Lynch Mousas, Saint Pierre, Lagrange, Gruaud Larose and Phélan-Ségur.

5:45 p.m. – La Lagune

This was by far the best La Lagune we have tasted young. The blend is 60% Cabernet, 25% Merlot and 15% Petit Verdot. In cooler years, La Lagune can show a bit of an herbal side. Not this year. The fruit was ripe, fresh and clean. The mid-palate fruit lush, velvety and full. Tannins were ripe and sweet. This wine will be delicious upon release and should age effortlessly for many years.

6:30 p.m. – Cantemerle

The wines from Cantemerle have been K&L favorites for many years now. Along with the well-made 2009 vintage, we also had a chance to taste the 2008 and the 2007 Les Allees (Cantemerle’s second wine). The 2007 shocked us all. It was delicious. The 2009 Cantemerle was showing well. I am sure this wine will be priced reasonable and this will definitely be a wine to buy. Fruit was ripe and fresh with tons of cedar, minerals and spice box that lingered on the edges. Its finish was long and fresh. A very good effort!

Trey Beffa